Vietnam orders removal of Chinese-made school software with inaccurate map

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The Ministry of Education and Training Tuesday ordered schools to stop using a Chinese-made software for seventh graders which shows the so-called nine-dotted line used by China to claim most of the East Sea.


The order follows an exposé by Thanh Nien a day earlier.


Thanh Nien discovered that all secondary schools had installed Earth Explorer as part of their IT curriculum and used it to teach geography.


The software shows a world map with the nine-dotted line China uses to show areas like Vietnam's Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes as being part of its territory.


Thanh Nien discovered that all secondary schools around the country use the IT textbook which requires seven-grade students to use the Earth Explorer software for their world geography lessons.


The textbook is printed by the Ministry of Education and Training's publisher and has been in use since 2007.


School@net, a local company which distributes IT products for schools, sold them the software it bought from a Chinese company called Motherplanet.


The Ministry of Education and Training told Thanh Nien Tuesday it has instructed its Vietnam Education Publishing House to remove the lesson from the textbook in a reprint to be released soon.

China and four members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei are embroiled in sovereignty disputes over the East Sea, internationally known as the South China Sea.

Beijing routinely outlines the scope of its claims with reference to the infamous nine-dotted line that takes in about 80 percent of the 3.5 million square kilometer East Sea on Chinese maps, a move emphatically rejected by international experts.

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